Jamie’s Italian – Nottingham

Last night was a night out for the girls. Our choice of restaurant for the evening was Jamie’s Italian in Nottingham. I love the online booking system at Jamie’s, it’s easy to see when a table’s available plus you get a text or an email to forward to your friends.

Cocktails

We arrived just in time for a drink in the bar and we ordered a selection of cocktails to set the evening off on the right track, I had my favourite Espresso Martini.

Our table was in front of the deli area, where huge hams, garlic and chillis are hung, and the antipasti planks are made up. We ordered a mixture of the Meat and Vegetable Planks plus the Bread Selection and the Crispy Squid. It was all delicious and perfect for sharing so it didn’t last long.

Jamie's Italian Planks

We were so busy catching up that I didn’t spend any time looking at the menu, so when it came to ordering mains I panicked and ordered by just pointing at something that I’d not tried before. It was the ‘Honeycomb Cannelloni 3 ways’ which was nice but perhaps a little bland. I do like the pasta dishes at Jamie’s, so perhaps I was just missing the rich meat flavour of the Ragù.

The ladies ordered steak and Fritto Misto, both of which looked lovely, the fish was very crispy and wrapped in vermicelli fried noodles. The side orders of posh and funky chips were delicious.  It wasn’t until afterwards that I realised that, although the waitress was friendly and helpful she didn’t offer us any specials. I do tend err towards a special when it’s something that sounds interesting, but perhaps they had sold out.

I really like the environment at Jamie’s. The Georgian house that it inhabits is a beautiful building. There are lots of separate areas for diners that all have a different feel to them. Some can be used for larger groups and almost give a private dining experience. We made a note to bring a bigger crowd next time so we could have a room to ourselves. If we did that we would not be quite so close to the sweet couple at the side of us who were either fascinated by, or shocked by, our candid conversation.

The house is filled with interesting period details and furniture, all ‘contemporaried up’ with a Jamie Oliver style twist. The toilets are down in the basement in ‘the caves’ where they also store ‘merchandise’ and wine, all safely locked away.

We shared a couple of desserts which we couldn’t quite finish and gossiped and laughed until it was time to head home. Although the booking system tells you your table time is limited we didn’t feel rushed out in any way.

The bill was reasonable, especially as we included cocktails, wine and several sides and starters; it was around £150 for the 4 of us.

Jamie's - photo courtesy of Jamie Oliver.com

Photo courtesy of Jamie Oliver.com

It was a good evening and very enjoyable and we will definitely be back when we can think of a good excuse. Perhaps next time we will visit on a sunny lunchtime so we can sit out in the garden.

Dakota Hotel Bar and Grill, Junction 27 M1, Nottingham

Dawn and I had dinner at this perennial favourite of ours. The Dakota is now a chain and part owned by David Coulthard the Grand Prix driver. The reception is very contemporary with massive leather sofas , high ceiling, fire etc so ideal for Prosecco and olives. There were six of us dining an we have never been let down as the food is brasserie style with the ingredients locally sourced wherever possible. 5 meals were again excellent but Dawn had Battered Prawns with Aparagus which didn’t really work. A combination of champagne, Marsault and Nappa Pinot Noir went down very well! Would recommend both a stay over and to eat but unusual location on a technology park off the M1.

G&D